HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: CENTRAL ASIA ON THE WORLD STAGE
Years ago when God first gave Steve Sharp a burden for Central Asia, most people wouldn’t have been able to name five of the countries in the region, much less find them on a map. Steve’s first call was to create praise and worship music in the style and languages of the region. How much the mission has grown since then! The music and culture of The Middle East and Central Asia are still at the center of what we do, but our programs, broadcast via satellite reach many more millions of people than Steve ever dreamed of touching with a worship CD for Turkmens.
In those early years of the ministry, Steve would explain over and over that Central Asia was the part of the world between Europe and China, where the names of the countries ended in ‘stan’. “Like Pakistan,” was a frequent question in reply to his explanation. Steve would direct their focus further north and begin to share the needs of the Most Unreached Region of the World. As our mission spreads across The Middle East, we have found more ministry partners in countries like Iran and Afghanistan, but Central Asia continues to be almost invisible to mainstream mission organizations.
Central Asia Coming Out of the Shadows
Though Central Asia has been a dead-zone for Christian ministry, for so many years, there have been many people lifting the area up in prayer – those of us currently ministering to the area, our supporters and the Believers in Central Asia. Among our prayers, have been the plea that God would pave the way and open doors for the Gospel in this part of the world.
We are beginning to see God easing open those doors in ways we never imagined. New regimes are coming to power in some of the countries. This does not mean these nations are suddenly open for us to freely minister in them. That day is still far away, but as their leaders become more and more open to ideas and assistance from the West, it gradually opens small spaces within which we can operate. We could tell you of small, tiny steps which simplified operations for us that were once all but impossible – even though to accomplish them in other countries would not require so much as a second thought. However, to mention these improvements would be to end them.
These changes are small, incremental improvements rarely noticed by the outside world, but invaluable to us. There are even more exciting events on the world scene. For instance, in recent weeks King Salman of Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh Summit, a series of three summits attended by the American president and leaders from all over The Middle East and Central Asia. The theme of the summit was, “Together We Prevail.” For the first time, a group of Arab countries acknowledged radical Islamic terror groups like ISIS, Boko Haram, Hamas and al-Queda were not just an enemy of the West, but were also a threat to the entire Arab world. This was a ground-breaking event of global proportions. This is real change.
Among the 55 nations represented at the Saudi Arabian event were the large players like Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan, countries we are accustomed to seeing on the world stage, but it thrilled our hearts to see the nations below send their presidents and other high officials to such a pivotal event:
These are the stepping stones God has paved into a path. We can begin to walk the path as we reach out to the hearts and minds of the lost in this troubled part of the world.
Help Reap the Harvest
You can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.
We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached Regions of the World.